I learned something this weekend. Something about weddings. Something that is easy to completely forget in the rush of planning or helping plan or thinking about planning a wedding. Something that I forgot completely in the last two weeks.
That something is this: you don't need fancy decorations or huge bridal parties, a dj or a three-tiered cake to have a wedding. Those things are fun and wonderful and can be part of a celebration that you and your friends and family will always remember. They're a way to share part of your life and your likes with the people you care about.
But they aren't what, really, at the end of the day, makes a wedding a wedding.
I got to see that on Saturday, at a celebration with fourteen people (including the bride and groom), on a beach with no aisle, no chairs and no dessert table. They were just two people (plus a white dress, a black suit and a veil) who want commit themselves, and the rest of their lives, to each other.
There wasn't any music, there weren't centerpieces on the tables, and, although we did have a lovely dinner and cake-cutting afterwards, the ceremony and reception were so simple and sweet that the thing I know we'll all remember are the smiles on the bride and groom's faces, the happy tears in our eyes, and the excitement for two people who are launching off into a new chapter of life together.
In other words, the checklists are important. The celebration is important (okay, and so fun). Sharing it with the ones you love is important. But the wedding, the celebration, all of it comes down to a few simple things: two people, their commitment, and the joy that follows.